Godolphin's Euro squad set to quarantine for Melbourne

J A McGrath

Godolphin's profile in Australia's famous G1 handicaps is already high, with domestic flag-bearer Hartnell allotted second top weight of 57.5kg in the Melbourne Cup and topweight of 58kg in the Caulfield Cup.

But, on the other side of the world, trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby are ready to send a strong squad of European stayers into quarantine at Newmarket (UK), prior to the long journey Down Under, where each will attempt a first win for Godolphin in the race that stops a nation.

Saeed is still finalising his team for the trip, though he already has a number of talented horses on his short list. Quarantine for the first shipment starts on Thursday.

"We have four entries (for the Melbourne Cup) at the moment and will decide on final plans in coming weeks," Saeed said.

"Prize Moneyinfo-icon is guaranteed a run with 55kg, and the plan is to take him out to Australia along with Natural Scenery, who runs at Doncaster on Thursday.

"Winning Storyinfo-icon came out of the Ebor in good form, and we will make a decision regarding him and Red Galileo as we get nearer the race," he added.

Heading Appleby's team is Francis Of Assisiinfo-icon, weighted on 54kg in both Cups, while Qewyinfo-icon (53kg) and Kidmeneverinfo-icon (50.5kg) occupy slots further down the scale. Folkswood, also to travel, holds an entry in the G1 Cox Plate.

"The weights were pretty much what we expected," Appleby said.

"The four will go into quarantine later this week and ship out to Australia 14 days later.

"Two of the four we send from my yard have been to Australia before, so that is good experience to have under the belt.

"Kidmenever will probably need to win one of the prep races to get into the Cup, but we'll give it a shot anyway," the trainer added.

"I'm looking forward to going down to Australia again, and if we can get one winner, we shall be delighted," he pointed out.